For over 60 years, the disputed territory of Kashmir has been the stage for large scale violence between Pakistan and India. Both countries lay claim to the region and despite many attempts to settle the question of ownership, the territory still remains in limbo, with Indian military in place to police the citizens of Kashmir.
Kashmir has certainly seen its ups and downs. Over the last several decades, numerous extremely violent uprisings have left the state in despair. Majority Muslim most citizens identify with their Pakistani neighbors and either wish to join with Pakistan or become their own governing state. Yet, despite the violence, Indian officials refuse to release their hold on the territory.
Despite the growing unrest in Kashmir, the territory has remained largely peaceful since 2010. However, recently, a 22 year old fanatic named Burhan Wani fanned the flame of independence for the Kashmiri People and began a social media campaign that called for the state’s independence. Wani had supposedly joined the local militant group when he was 15. He quickly rose to popularity with the people who were tired of being held under India’s rule. Indian police forces responded to Wani’s cries for freedom by capturing and killing Wani’s older brother, claiming that he was on his way to join the militants. This only made Wani more determined to see Kashmir free.
On July 8th, 2016, Burhan Wani and several friends were cornered by the police in a village and shot down. Immediately the villagers rushed out and mobbed the police in response. Such mobs have been happening across the state since that day in what authorities are calling the most violent months Kashmir has seen in years. At least sixty have been killed in conflicts between the police and protestors, with thousands more injured.
State government is concerned about the violence, imposing curfew across the state. While there have been a few instances of mobs attacking the police forces, for the most part the casualties have been from the police attacking unarmed protestors. These casualties are only causing the people to want freedom from India even more, so the government is investigating the reports of excessive violence towards unarmed civilians.
It seems that the situation in Kashmir is worse than its ever been. The people of Kashmir want peace and freedom, but who knows if they will ever see that in this world. As believers we know that the only true source of peace and freedom is Jesus Christ. He has freed us from sin and one day, if we trust in Him, we will live with Him in complete peace.
Join us in the praying that the people of Kashmir would come to know Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. And check out our resource page to find out more about what the Bible has to say about peace in the Middle East.